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East Los Angeles sheriffs murder young Chicano father

By staff |
February 19, 2016
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Edwin Rodriguez
Edwin Rodriguez (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Los Angeles, CA - The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department murdered another young man in East Los Angeles (ELA), Feb. 14. The LA Sheriff’s version is full of contradictions and misinformation.

Edwin Rodriguez was beaten and shot to death by several sheriff deputies of the notorious ELA Sheriff’s substation. Rodriguez was a passenger in a car stopped on the false pretenses of being stolen. The deputies provoked a confrontation, then beat and shot Rodriguez ten times. The family is calling for protests and hired an attorney to do an independent investigation.

Rodriguez was a father of a three-year-old with his partner Stephanie and was living with family in ELA. Rodriguez was an avid soccer player who won many awards, including the Goal Champion 2010 award for the Los Angeles Premier Soccer League. He was looking forward to the NFL Rams football team moving to Los Angeles. He attended Garfield High School, worked as a cashier at a local market and loved to draw art and cartoons. He loved people and liked to sing at family gatherings. He was born Nov. 5, 1991 at White Memorial Hospital in Boyle Heights.

His family is calling for a protest, Saturday, Feb. 20, 12:00 noon, at the ELA Sheriff’s station on 5019 East Third Street, LA.

The Rodriguez family is originally from Jalisco, Mexico and has lived in ELA for over 20 years. His mother Elena Rodriguez talked about how her son loved his family and worked hard to support them. She said he loved people, drawing and art and sports. She wants justice for Edwin.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles County California has a long history of harassing, abusing and killing Chicanos and Blacks. Former Sheriff Lee Baca resigned in 2015 and pleaded guilty this month to lying to the FBI about a police abuse incident investigation in the LA County Jails. He awaits sentencing. Baca's former second in command, Sheriff Paul Tanaka, had also been arrested and is awaiting trial for the cover-up of police abuse investigation at the LA County Jail.

In the mid 1990s, the LA County Sheriffs provoked a confrontation and killed Smokey Jimenez in the Ramona Gardens Projects, causing a rebellion. Several other Chicanos have been killed by law enforcement in recent years in the Ramona Gardens Housing Projects of Boyle Heights, including Mauricio Cornejo and others. Protests against LAPD were also called when teenager David Angel Ortiz was shot in the back by a sheriff. In 2013 Carlos Olivas, a college student, was shot in the back by Deputy Sheriff Nicolas Castellanos and Deputy Sheriff Anthony Forlano, who had seven prior shootings, causing protests to erupt again.

ELA has a long history of fighting back. CSO, the ELA community organization that is helping to organize the justice for Rodriguez protest, has been fighting police brutality against Chicanos for the last half century, including the historic 1951 Bloody Christmas case. CSO also fought to get justice for Manuel Jamines, a Guatemalan Mayan day laborer, who was shot in the head on Sept. 5, 2010 by LAPD in the Pico Union community.

Carlos Montes, veteran Chicano revolutionary and organizer with Centro CSO stated, “These police killings have got to stop, it is a major human rights violation that the nation and international community need to denounce. The LA County Sheriffs are liars and brutal killers!”

The CSO has issued the following call to action: “Edwin’s family and the Centro CSO - Community Service Organization - is calling on the ELA and Boyle Heights community to unite and support the family and demand an end to police brutality and murders of our youth! CSO calls for the community to organize to fight for our rights and form a united front to stop the police killings by the ELA Sheriffs and LAPD now. The family and CSO are calling a protest Saturday February 20, 2016 at 12 PM in front of the ELA Sheriff Sub Station 5019 East Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90022.”

The CSO can be contacted on Facebook under Centro CSO, at [email protected], or by phone at 323-943-2030.